Tuesday, June 6, 2006

CEO free agent market booming

High demand for chief executives with a strong track record is helping push turnover at the top of the corporate ladder to new heights. A record 148 CEOs left their posts in May, surpassing the peak of 139 set last January, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., the Chicago-based global outplacement consultancy firm. Seventeen percent departed after being lured away either by other companies or the challenge of entrepreneurship. One notable promotion was that of Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson, who left to take the helm of the United States Treasury Department.“These are red-hot times for executive search firms," said John A.Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, "as CEOs move fluidly from organization to organization in search of a bigger challenge and bigger payday. This is a free-agent CEO market, the likes of which we have never seen.”

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